Who says footballers are bad to the bone?

Those ‘look away now’ collisions and X-rated challenges are an ugly side to the beautiful game that make broken metatarsals and stress fractures collateral damage for many players.

So you’d hardly think that football could actually be good for your bones. But new research from Clermont University in France shows that playing and practising for up to 10 hours a week actually toughens up your frame.

The French researchers found that the stop-start motion of the modern game is the ideal way to add some mettle to your skeleton.

Bone reacts to stress by forming more bone and football’s variety of running, jumping, stopping, twisting, turning and even diving was found to make it the ideal sport for improving bone mass density (BMD) – resulting in stronger limbs and reduced risk of fractures.

To boost your bone strength and aid post-match muscle recovery, drink chocolate milk. “It provides fluid, carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes and calcium,” says Dr Brian Roy – not the ex-Forest winger, but the professor of applied health sciences at Brock University in Canada.

“Low-fat chocolate milk straight after a match or hard training session may be just as effective as some commercially available sports drinks.”

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